Kalamazoo’s Russ Faulk Explores Outdoor Kitchen Trends with USA Today

April 02, 2019
USA Today


As outdoor kitchens continue to rise in popularity, USA Today’s Rina Rapuano reports that homeowners are spending more on their outdoor spaces - in part, because there are so many new and interesting products out there to make outdoor living more comfortable. “For those who really want to go all out,” Rina notes, “popular add-ons include entertainment zones like bars, dedicated cleanup areas and specialty refrigeration like wine coolers, freezers and under-counter refrigerator drawers to keep meat and produce separate.”

Whether you want all the bells and whistles or not, make sure you get a grill you’ll really love. USA Today quotes our own Grillmaster and Chief Product Designer, Russ Faulk: “Where I tell people not to scrimp is the grill, especially if it’s being built into masonry. If you hate your grill, you’re probably not going to love your outdoor kitchen.”

The grill is just one component of a full outdoor kitchen. Many appliances that are impossible to include in a residential indoor kitchen are easily incorporated into an outdoor kitchen space, allowing homeowners to create meals that were previously only accessible at restaurants. Russ notes that “smokers and wood-fired grills are especially hot right now,” while pizza ovens have been popular ever since American restaurant chefs introduced their customers to Neapolitan pizza.

With so many options available for outdoor kitchens, Russ’s most important design tip is to create a space that’s easy to use. “If you feel like you have to spend three to four hours to get your outdoor kitchen ready to use it, you’re not going to be excited about using it. It should always be ready to go, always easy.”